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Des de Moor
Lyrics


Marieke
Ne Me Quitte Pas/Brel Songs By... From Ne Me Quitte Pas/
Brel Songs By...

An unusual compilation of Jacques Brel covers featuring this song.
More details.

Des de Moor
voice
Julia Doyle
double bass
David Harrod
piano
Daniel Teper
accordion


Barb Jungr: Chanson The Space In Between From Chanson: The Space In Between
Barb Jungr's chanson album including five original translations by Des.
Click here for details

Barb Jungr
voice
Kim Burton
accordion
Russell Churney
piano
James Tomalin
samples
Julie Walkington
double bass


Jacques Brel was an artist whose work can generate the sort of passion that inspires instant friendships among his devotees, especially in the English-speaking world where his aesthetic seems so alien. So it was with English chansonnier Robb Johnson and me, when he contacted me in connection with the Ne me quitte pas compilation project for his Irregular label. I was keen to do 'Marieke', although I'd rarely performed it live before, and remember scrabbling an arrangement together in haste for the demo, though I'd also offered Robb 'L'Ostendaise'. The recording session eventually led to my Water of Europe album on Irregular and several other fruitful collaborations, not to mention much musical support and inspiration.

'Marieke' was the only song Brel himself wrote partly in his nursery language, Dutch, and on my recording I mainly used his original words, though I included a spoken translation of the second chorus over the introduction, and sang the third verse in an English version. It must have been a live performance of this version that earned me the epithet 'polyglot' which now seems inseparable from my name in the pages of London listings magazine Time Out.

Barb Jungr then asked me for a version entirely in English for her own chanson project. The effects Brel achieves by contrasting the two languages in the original, especially pointed in the political and cultural context of Belgium, are inevitably obliterated by putting them into a single tongue, but there is the compensation of Barb's extraordinary interpretation which brings the English alive.

In Brugge, you will find the song and its author commemorated with a statue of Marieke herself, not far from the Kruispoort.

Ay Marieke Marieke je t'aimais tant
Entre les tours de Bruges et Gand
Ay Marieke Marieke il y a longtemps
Entre les tours de Bruges et Gand

Zonder liefde warme liefde
Waait de wind de stomme wind
Zonder liefde warme liefde
Weent de zee de grijze zee
Zonder liefde warme liefde
Lijdt het licht het donk're licht
En schuurt het zand over mijn land
Mijn platte land mijn Vlaanderland

Ay Marieke Marieke le ciel flamand
Couleur les tours de Bruges et Gand
Ay Marieke Marieke le ciel flamand
Pleure avec moi de Bruges à Gand

Zonder liefde warme liefde
Waait de wind c'est fini
Zonder liefde warme liefde
Weent de zee déjà fini
Zonder liefde warme liefde
Lijdt het licht tout est fini
En schuurt het zand over mijn land
Mijn platte land mijn Vlaanderland

Ay Marieke Marieke le ciel flamand
Pesait-il trop de Bruges à Gand
Ay Marieke Marieke sur tes vingt ans
Que j'aimais tant de Bruges à Gand

Zonder liefde warme liefde
Lacht de duivel de zwarte duivel
Zonder liefde warme liefde
Brandt mijn hart mijn oude hart
Zonder liefde warme liefde
Sterft de zomer de droeve zomer
En schuurt het zand over mijn land
Mijn platte land mijn Vlaanderland

Ay Marieke Marieke revienne le temps
Revienne le temps de Bruges et Gand
Ay Marieke Marieke revienne le temps
Où tu m'aimais de Bruges à Gand

Ay Marieke Marieke le soir souvent
Entre les tours de Bruges et Gand
Ay Marieke Marieke tous les étangs
M'ouvrent leurs bras de Bruges à Gand
De Bruges à Gand de Bruges à Gand


Yes Marieke Marieke in love we went
Between the towers of Bruges and Ghent
Yes Marieke Marieke so long we’ve spent
Between the towers of Bruges and Ghent

Cold and loveless cold and loveless
Blows the wind the wordless wind
Cold and loveless cold and loveless
Weeps the sea the old grey sea
Cold and loveless cold and loveless
Throbs the light the darkened light
With scouring sand across my land
My flat land my Flanders land

Yes Marieke Marieke the Flemish skies
Paint colours on the towers that rise
Yes Marieke Marieke the Flemish skies
Rain tears like those from my own eyes

Cold and loveless cold and loveless
Blows the wind it’s over
Cold and loveless cold and loveless
Weeps the sea already over
Cold and loveless cold and loveless
Throbs the light everything’s over
With scouring sand across my land
My flat land my Flanders land

Yes Marieke Marieke my back is bent
By Flemish skies from Bruges to Ghent
Yes Marieke Marieke those years that went
On loving you from Bruges to Ghent

Cold and loveless cold and loveless
Laughs the devil the old black devil
Cold and loveless cold and loveless
Burns my heart my ancient heart
Cold and loveless cold and loveless
Dies the summer the sombre summer
With scouring sand across my land
My flat land my Flanders land

Yes Marieke Marieke to bring it back
To bring it back from Bruges and Ghent
Yes Marieke Marieke to bring it back
That love I lack from Bruges to Ghent

Yes Marieke Marieke the skies lament
Between the towers of Bruges and Ghent
Yes Marieke Marieke my blood is spent
In every pool from Bruges to Ghent
From Bruges to Ghent from Bruges to Ghent

Translation: Deptford, London, 22 June 1999


"Brel's Flemish connections have a personal fascination. I'm half Dutch and grew to love Flanders when my [then] partner lived there for a while. Brel had a love/hate relationship with the place: he loathed the Brussels bourgeoisie who spawned him, and on a particularly bitter track on his last album he more-or-less labelled the whole nation Catholic Nazis. But he also wrote several beautiful, wistful songs about the ordinary people of the 'flat land'. To me this song will always evoke my own memories of train journeys across Flanders on my way to visit the man I loved. Looking out of the window between Brugge and Gent I'd see those skies so familiar from the paintings of Breugel and Rubens: grey and heavy with rain, forever crying for someone's lost Marieke."

-- from the sleeve notes to Ne me quitte pas/Brel songs by....



 Words
Jacques Brel


 Translation
Des de Moor


 Music
Gérard Jouannest


 Arrangement
on Ne me quitte pas:
Des de Moor
on Chanson The Space In Between
Barb Jungr


© Copyright 1961 Société Nouvelle des éditions musicales Tutti/Warner Chappell Music France, Paris. Translated by permission of the publisher, Gérard Jouannest and France Brel.

Originally recorded by Jacques Brel in 1961, now available on Jacques Brel 3: Les Flamandes (Barclay)
Recorded in the original French and Dutch by The Des de Moor Quartet on Ne me quitte pas/Brel songs by....
English version recorded by Barb Jungr on Chanson: The Space In Between.
See opposite for details.


Buy original version on Jacques Brel: Infiniment complilation from Amazon

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 More lyrics
Ne me quitte pas (Jacques Brel)
Quartier Latin (Léo Ferré)
Marieke (Jacques Brel/Gérard Jouannest)
La chanson des vieux amants (Jacques Brel/Gérard Jouannest)
Les poètes (Léo Ferré)
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